The Art of saying NO

Do you remember a time in your life, probably when you were around 4-5 years old where NO was your favorite word? Ok maybe you don’t remember that far but trust me it was. We were so loud, proud, and unapologetic with our NO. We said what we meant and we meant what we said. We were NOT going to do it no matter what you threatened us with.

As we got older it seemed that the word NO became harder and harder to say. Within my own life I always wondered why.

I was always the people pleaser. My job was to make sure the world was happy even at the expense of my own happiness. NO was not an option for me. Yes, however was. It was always yes.

Yes, I can pick you up and drop you off. Yes, I can stay late at work to finish up. Yes, I will babysit for you (knowing I had to be up early the next day). Yes, I’ll volunteer for your charity event (although I was already overbooked for another event).

I noticed that all the Yes answers I gave took a little piece of my own life away.

Self-care is so important and putting ourselves to the side just to not disappoint can be very damaging to our own wellbeing.

Let’s look at why we have a hard time saying no to others:

  1. Fear of losing a position or status
  2. Fear that you will lose good friends, co-workers or associates
  3. Fear of lost opportunity, if you say no, the opportunity will not present itself again
  4. Fear of disappointing family members, knowing that family support each other
  5. Fear of Confrontation
  6. Guilt

When you refuse to set boundaries for yourself and you are always saying Yes to others you limit opportunities you have made for yourself to learn and grow. Pushing your goals to the left and right for somebody else can set you back a few days, months, or even years. When you continue to put others before yourself you are valuing their time and goals MORE then your own.

It’s ok to assist and give the YES, every once in a while, but have balance. Say NO and put yourself first when you need to. There will be others that can help them when you do say NO.

When someone asks you for your YES consider these things:

  1. Do you have the time to help them?
  2. Will it hinder and commitments that you currently have?
  3. Is it going to help you or hurt you?
  4. If you say NO will the relationship stay intact?
  5. If you need time to think will they give it to you?
  6. Do you fear them? Or their reaction?

There are ways to tell somebody No or that you cannot help them. Be as polite as you can and let them know that you have other things in mind, or that you can assist later.

You do not have to explain yourself all the time. just know that your own personal self-care is the most important thing for you at this point in your life.

There is power in your NO. Focus on your selfcare and stand your ground, it is OK.

Rajsheda Griffin

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